‘Lessons learnt’

TRAGEDY could have occurred during chaotic scenes on the A57 in heavy snowfall because of a slow response from the police.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2011, 5:59 pm

An emergency services debrief into the incident in South Anston last year found that a lack of understanding about the scale of the problem at an early stage delayed rescue efforts.

Around 200 drivers were rescued from their vehicles on the A57 between Todwick and Worksop after becoming stranded on the icy roads.

The report warned that there was a lack of co-ordination between different agencies which prevented appropriate plans being developed in a “timely manner”.

Police also did not have a specific plan in place because the snowfall was heavier than expected.

It added that it was likely that motorists could have died in the cold if it had not been for the help of residents. However it does say that the rescue was a success.

Local residents and mountain rescue services stepped in to help the stranded motorists during the snow in December last year.

Chief Superintendent Keith Lumley, head of Operational Support Services for South Yorkshire Police, said: “The force received thousands of snow-related calls, having to prioritise incidents across the county, but dealt with the situation in South Anston as effectively as possible given the challenging conditions.”

“As with any serious incident, there are always lessons to be learned and the debrief report, produced by emergency services, enabled the force and other agencies to make necessary improvements.”